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Near the end of September of 2019, we decided to launch a Canvas LMS Podcast designed to tell Canvas users stories and to highlight some of the incredible things we saw on a daily basis through the Canvas Community. We had no idea that within a few short months we would amass this collection of voices and stories from around the globe. Here are our greatest hits from 2019! If you or someone you know would love to be a guest for 2020 reach out to us by following this link.

 

Megan Tolin

Assistant Professor - Trine University

The Power of the Canvas Commons

“One of the things I love about Canvas so much is their willingness to listen. The modifications that they have made to make it better for K-12 education have been unreal. What is most fun for me, is how Canvas is growing and adapting. Becoming better week after week, year after year. I’ll admit, at first I was using it for file sharing and worksheets... that’s all we knew. Seeing people create and share inside of Canvas widely with Canvas Commons, that was a really big thing for me. To be able to see what others are doing and modify that... To me, that is the big evolution.  Now we see how teachers are being more creative inside the system and how the system allows that.”

Inside The Episode

We knew very early on in our creation of the podcast that we wanted Megan Tolin as one of our first guests. Her experiences, knowledge, and willingness to share with others gave us a great start!

 

Paul Towers

Educational Developer - University of Wolverhampton -The College of Learning and Teaching

Quality of Product and People

“We have a great relationship with Canvas in Europe, and certainly London. It’s a fun company and you’re having those personal connections with people. I think the product is a bit of a beacon for that as well.  I think it shines through some of the attitudes that some people have.  It is very engaging and they are very engaging people. I think that shows with Canvas.”

Inside The Episode

Snagging an interview with Paul was one of those jaw-dropping moments for new podcasters. At that point, we were a week from launch and were already connecting with folks from across the globe! The power of connection was in full swing and Paul did not disappoint!

 

Kona Jones

Director of Online Learning - Richland Community College

Humanizing the Online Experience

“I think it is important  to note that this is not just an online thing. It is an education thing. For me, how I really frame it and how I framed it in my session is that it’s a really good chance to ‘go back to your roots’; go back to your main course outcomes. What are your big questions?  What do you want students to remember a year from now?  What is that big takeaway?”

Inside The Episode

The chants from the growing list of followers and listeners were clear. There was a Canvas Jedi hiding in plain site that had to be on an episode. There was so much content and inspiration that we had to split the Kona chat into two episodes! It was a huge moment for us.

 

Chris Giles

Canvas Administrator - Beaverton School District

Selecting an LMS

“We are coming from a point of view that we want to give our students the best student experience that they can receive. I feel like having something that is similar through their entire K-12 progression is important.  I have been given a tool, a digital tool, at kindergarten, first grade through 12th grade, help me interact with this tool, help me become a better learner, help me be able to contribute, help me do all these things as a student. I think one of the best ways  to sell the idea of an LMS is that it’s something that will give our students a similar learning experience.”

Inside The Episode

What drew us to interview Chris was the sheer size of his district. Whether you are a current administrator for Canvas or a new user, Chris’s insight gives a unique viewpoint that resonates across multiple disciplines.

 

Kyle Beimfohr

Technology Integration Specialist - Zionsville Community Schools

“We Ask, They Listen”

“How do you make learning seamless for learners who can’t read what’s on the screen?  Canvas is continuing to add features, whether it be the media recorder feature or the immersive reader through Microsoft, it is great to see that they are listening to some of those struggles that we have in the K-12 setting.”

The Canvas Media Recorder

“The biggest impact I see in our K12 at Zionsville is the Canvas Media Recorder.  It is getting some of our users who would typically be gun-shy to use an LMS, to use it daily.  Our Fine Arts Department is using the media recorder all the time.  Our orchestra teacher will do all their assessments in Canvas by having students play their instruments in front of their laptops and recording it.  The teacher can then go back and give that same authentic feedback in Speed Grader by typing their comments or using the media recorder themselves!”

Inside The Episode

Knowing Kyle outside of being a guest on our show we knew he would be a fantastic guest. As one of the facilitators of our Indiana Canvas User Group, and fresh off of our Winter meeting, Kyle provided listeners with amazing “try it tomorrow” content! 

 

Kevin Self

Canvas Administrator, eCoach, Physics & CS Teacher - North Central High School

Creating and Implementing Blueprint Courses

“When you go in and are actually setting up your courses in Canvas there is an option that is in the setup section that is called ‘Blueprint’. Basically what you’re creating is almost like a template of the course content that you are wanting to use for multiple teachers and possibly multiple schools. We have multiple schools and teachers teaching  the same content, not only within the same department, but between the schools as well. 

What Blueprint allows you to do is to enter everything you want and then you link that template to every section, and to every teacher. One of the things that it refers back to is how we cross-list different sections at the teacher level.  What this does is it allows you to cross-list with teachers who are teaching the same content, and push that material out to everybody. If you need to make a change, you make a change in the blueprint. You click sync, and it syncs it to everybody!”

Inside The Episode

Kevin was one of the first listeners that reached out early expressing the value of blueprinting courses and did an amazing job of putting this blueprint course concept into practical contexts for us. We knew he would be a guest that could not only speak from a classroom perspective, but also from an administrator’s view.

 

Amanda Kitchell

English Teacher - Twin Lakes High School

Amanda Wilkerson

Computer Science Instructor - Central Nine Career Center

Inside The Teacher Tree

“Canvas has allowed us to streamline our processes and the  information that we would normally hand-out to students, so that our teachers and students can focus more on lab activities and hands-on pieces which is ultimately why students come to Central Nine Career Center.”

-Amanda Wilkerson-

“It’s just as important to model the tools that they have to use.  I always tell them, ‘Hey look!  You’re learning two things today: You’re learning the content that I want you to learn, but you also have to master the platform that I’ve decided to deliver it in.”

- Amanda Kitchell-

Inside The Episode

This was an idea we had and it was a natural progression near the end of the year. Could we pull two teachers from our districts that we believed could bring their perspectives? One early on in the process (Amanda W.) and one with years of experience (Amanda K.). The fact that they were both named Amanda was a pure coincidence, but we couldn’t have been happier with their expertise!

 

Keep learning,

Eddie Small and Marcus Painter

The Canvascasters

@smallindiana

@edtechmarcus

@canvascasters